Wednesday, October 19, 2005


yeah, yeah, I know I'm a logistician on a large base. That's not enough to keep you safe in this war where there are no front lines.
A couple of days ago I attended a memorial service for three soldiers from a unit on post who were killed on a convoy in Iraq. I spent the entire service choking back tears even though I'd never met the guys. I kept thinking about the impact this had on their fellow soldiers and their families. How they died isn't important, what they died for is, right? God and Country, right? That's the thought on the grand scale, anyhow. They died for a righteous cause.
The cause is right, but I'm sure for their parents, their daughters, and their brother & sisters the grand scale doesn't mean diddly squat. They'd rather have their brother, son, or father back. Was the price of Iraq's freedom worth a human life? 20, 100, 1000, 2500 lives? Maybe to the soldiers fighting for it, but I doubt to their families. I think that's how I'd feel if it were my wife or son over here.
One of the kids (they were kids... two weren't even old enough to drink) had actually arrived in this country after I did. He's been here less time than I have and he's dead now. I just shake my head when I think about it. I'm pretty safe where I am and I rarely travel dangerous roads, but the thought of leaving HouseholdSix and SixPointFive without a husband/father makes me sick to my stomach. They don't care if Iraq is free or ruthlessly oppressed. They just want me back in one piece and I want to see them again more than anything in this world. (heavy sigh)
I know what John Stuart Mill said "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
That quote is all well and good; I don't worry about my own safey and I know that there are things in this world worth me fighting and dying for. I just don't know if my family is willing to have me pay the same price that I'm willing to pay. Probably not.

Man, this deployment is way harder and more complicated than I ever thought it was going to be.

Hurricane Rules

A friend sent this to me. Although it is not written by George Carlin as it purports to be, it is funny and on the mark.
Subject: George Carlin on New Orleans.

Been sitting here with my ass in a wad, wanting to speak out about the bullshit going on in New Orleans. For the people of New Orleans...First we would like to say, Sorry for your loss. With that said, Let’ s go through a few hurricane rules: (Unlike an earthquake, we know it's coming).

#1. A mandatory evacuation means just that...Get the hell out. don't blame the Government after they tell you to go. If they hadn't said anything, I can see the argument. They said get out... if you didn't, it's your fault, not theirs. (We don't want to hear it, even if you don't have a car, you can get out.).

#2. If there is an emergency, stock up on water and non-perishables. If you didn't do this, it's not the Government's fault you're starving.

#2a. If you run out of food and water, find a store that has some. (Remember, shoes, TV's, DVD's and CD's are not edible. Leave them alone.).

#2b. If the local store has been looted of food or water, leave your neighbor's TV and stereo alone. (See # 2a) They worked hard to get their stuff. Just because they were smart enough to leave during a mandatory evacuation, doesn't give you the right to take their's theirs, not yours.

#3. If someone comes in to help you, don't shoot at them and then complain no one is helping you. I'm not getting shot to help save some dumbass who didn't leave when told to do so.

#4. (deleted by Six. this one was lame and not even close to funny)

#5. My tax money should not pay to rebuild a 2 million dollar house, a sports stadium or a floating casino. Also, my tax money shouldn't go to rebuild a city that is under sea level. You wouldn't build your house on quicksand would you? You want to live below sea-level, do your country some good and join the Navy.

#6. Regardless of what the Poverty Pimps Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton want you to believe, The US Government didn't create the Hurricane as a way to eradicate the black people of New Orleans; (Neither did Russia as a way to destroy America). The US Government didn't cause global warming that caused the hurricane (We've been coming out of an ice age for over a million years).

#7. The government isn't responsible for giving you anything. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but you gotta work for what you want. McDonalds and Wal-Mart are always hiring, get a damn job and stop spooning off the people who are actually working for a living. President Kennedy said it best... "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Reporting only what you want to

I've written about the media's bias before. Their bias is towards what will sell the most copies and therefore make them the most money. America is supposed to win wars (we're 7-1-1 depending on how you keep score), so if we win, that's just a "dog-bites-man" story. The media saw its rise to prominence during vietnam and another quagmire war in a foreign land would elevate it even higher, right? That's part of why they are pushing the quamire agenda. The other part of the story is if American lost a war, that would be a "man-bites-dog" story.
Cox and Forkum published an excellent cartoon on the subject of the media reporting only what it wants to report, not everything that is "newsworthy."
MAJ Delaplane over at Firepower Forward has some good thoughts on journalism and patriotism. Are those two things mutually exclusive?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OPSEC and Blogs

I just got handed a bunch of printed powerpoint slides (that's how the Army communicates with itself these days) and was told to read them and sign a sheet acknowledging that I had read them. This is another one of those 100% compliance things the Army throws at me every other day or so.
These powerpoint slides were from the Army's The 1st Information Operations Command (Land) (1st IO Cmd). (AKO login required) According to its website, "Information Operations are actions taken to affect adversary and other information and information systems while defending one's own information and information systems. Information Operations are both offensive and defensive in nature."
The powerpoint slides were specifically about blogs and how bloggers who ignore OPSEC are giving free information to terrorists. If you want to view the slides yourself, you can just click here.(AKO login required)

The part that I find interesting is that the 1st IO command actually singles out specific milblogs who they think violate OPSEC.
Guess who the Army says is the big OPSEC violator?
Armor Geddon, LT Neil Prakash's blog. The 1st IO Command takes exception with EIGHT of his detailed accounts of the battle of Fallujah, writing that such detail gives away tactics, techniques, and procedures to the enemy.
I can understand their point, but at what point is a detailed account of a battle "history" and no longer an OPSEC violation?

The 1st IO command also holds up some good examples of bloggers who take OPSEC into account.
Boots in Baghdad
Major K.

The Army is starting to take notice of milblogs and active milbloggers are beginning to feel the heat.